Friday, 3 June 2011

Elderflower Cordial

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Yesterday saw me out bright and early after feeding the pigs and chickens picking elderflowers heads to make our first ever batch of Elderflower Cordial.  Now I know I should have made this last year but we just weren't organised at the right time and the short season whizzed past, and we missed out completely.  So this year I was determined that the gallons of cordial we drink throughout the Summer would be made by my own fair hands.
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It's so simple to make too, I'll put the recipe at the bottom of this post if you want to have a go.  But these are all the stages in pictures.
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The scent in the kitchen while it steeped overnight was amazing.
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After the inital strain it looks like this, gorgeous little flower heads floating in the rich cordial.
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And now tucked away in the fridge we have three bottles of delicious Elderflower Cordial, we've drank the 1/3 of a bottle with lots of ice and sparkling water with our tea, which was a selection of veggies from the Kitchen Garden and some dips, a glorious end to a productive day.
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Tomorrow morning I will be out gathering more flower heads to make more Cordial and hopefully some Elderflower Champagne as well.
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Elderflower Cordial

20 heads of Elderflower, (shaken to remove insects but not washed)
1.8kg granulated or caster Sugar
1.2 litres of Water
2 unwaxed Lemons
75g Citric Acid
 (this is to help with preservation, I had to miss it out of this first batch as I didn't have any, so we will have to drink it quicker....not a hardship!!)
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Put the sugar in a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring occasionally until it has all disolved.

While it is disolving pare the zest off the lemons in wide strips and toss into a large bowl with the elderflowers.  Slice the lemons and add to the bowl (discard the ends).

Pour over the boiling syrup and then stir in the citric acid.

Cover with a cloth and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

Next day, strain the cordial (I did it first through a colander to catch all the big bits and then through a sieve lined with muslin), then simply pour into clean glass or plastic bottles. 

If you have used citric acid you can now store the bottles in a cupboard, or if like me you haven't,  then just store them in the fridge.  Drink this well diluted with either sparkling or still water, and lots and lots of ice, preferably on a lovely hot sunny day.
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Sue xx

6 comments:

  1. I love Elderflower cordial. Remember to add some to your gooseberry jam and crumbles - makes them taste fantastic as opposed to just great!
    P xx

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  2. The OH and I were talking about elderflower cordial a couple of weeks ago when we drove over to 'our new place' and had a walk around the area. I was saying we would miss the season for this year but hopefully we would be able to partake next year - if we can find some when we move! I will 'file' your recipe, thank Sue x

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  3. I sterilize the bottles (cleaned, then 100degrees F in the oven for about 20 minutes.) and I process my cordials as well. large pan, trivet, wrap bottles in paper so they don't knock against each other. Cold water up to the shoulder at least, caps on and quarter turn re-opened. Jam thermometer in the middle.
    Raise to 170 degrees F for 30 minutes or 190 for 20.
    close tops, remove bottles to cool.

    Method from the HMSO Preserving fruit and veg booklet.

    I have had cordials ferment! So now I always process unless for immediate use

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  4. To tell the truth I am a lot less meticulous about sterilising my bottles and jars. I just wash them in hot soapy water, rinse well and then put them all in the bottom oven of the Aga for 10 minutes.

    It's worked for all by bottled stuff up to now, I just hope it works for the Cordial.....I'll soon find out....LOL!!

    Sue xx

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  5. We've just picked our eiderflower and will be making the cordial tomorrow. We're storing the eiderflower in the fridge. Is that ok?

    Sft x

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  6. I have spotted some elderflowers blooming on my drive home, i am hoping to pick some as i would love to make some Elderflower Champagne again, the last time was when I lived in Scotland http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/glass-of-elderflower-champagne.html
    I sterilise my bottles the same way, except in my oven, dreaming of an Aga one day.

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